The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Getting the lead out

Every so often I come across something which confuses me. Mostly these involve situations that have been identified as problems many years (as in decades) ago yet remain troublesome.

This is one such item:

Unsafe levels of lead still found in California youths

We all know that lead is a toxic substance now but it was not always this way. At one time, a lot of toys, most paint, even some glasses and dishes had significant amounts of lead content. And the lead would leech out of these things and get into the bodies of children and adults. Children, of course, were (and are) more susceptible to effects of lead. Especially children under the age of 6 (says the article) because they tend to put a lot of things in their mouths.

But here's my puzzlement... We've known about this problem for many decades. We began addressing the problem over 30 years ago. We outlawed lead in gasoline in 1995. Actually, that process began well before that, starting in the late 70's. I would say that the vast majority of cars using leaded gasoline were out of service by 1995 and likely much earlier.

The US banned lead based paint in 1977. Lead based paint being the likeliest source for lead poisoning in young children. Lots of rules, controls, and so on were created. The paint is still a problem, however, because few people removed the paint but simply painted over it. So it is still around, still a danger.

What causes my puzzlement is that we think something like this would take only a few years to deal with, maybe ten at the most, yet here we are 40+ years later (in the case of lead-based paint) still trying to clean it up.

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